|Family||Thicket royal family|
|First||Friendship is Magic #27|
King Aspen was the deer king of Thicket, a small, but powerful kingdom located within the Everfree Forest, and the father of Prince Bramble. A serious-minded monarch, Aspen loves his people and his family dearly, and will do anything to protect them. Although haughty, Aspen appears to be much friendlier when under less dire situations and appeared to be good friends with Princess Celestia after their bad first impressions.
Over a thousand years ago, King Aspen helped repel the invasion by Cosmos, an entity from the Andalusian constellation. With the power of the Heart of the Everfree, he held back her chaotic powers, kept the planets from falling and helped save all of Equestria. He appeared to be good friends with Queen Novo and showed her care after the battle.
Fun Fun Land
When vines began reaching out from the Everfree Forest and encroaching upon other regions of Equestria, Celestia instructed Twilight Sparkle to seek out the “Heart of the Forest.” This proved to be Aspen himself, who had been told of Twilight by Celestia. However, far from having a solution to the increased plant growth and animal aggression, King Aspen and his subjects were the cause. Aspen informed Twilight and her companions that Ponies were no longer welcome in Everfree, and claimed that they were merely being repaid in kind for their own misdeeds. Upon seeing their bafflement, and at the urging of Bramble, Aspen decided to talk the matter over with the princess.
Aspen explained that the land of the Everfree Forest was being destroyed, and that the deer had taken it upon themselves to replace it with land taken from Equestria. He then showed them the perpetrators: a construction company consisting of Ponies and Minotaurs. When questioned, he noted that multiple messages to Celestia had gone unanswered, and that his own efforts to negotiate with the invaders had proved fruitless. Though he had no hope that Well-to-Do, the Minotaur in charge, could be convinced, he allowed Twilight and her friends to try.
His fears were verified as he met them upon their return from an unsuccessful meeting with the foreman. Though saddened, Aspen remained firm in his resolve to continue expanding the forest. He was surprised when Twilight refused to give up hope of evicting the builders, seemingly taking sides against her own kind. Via Spike, Twilight sent her own message to Celestia.
In an unfortunate twist, Celestia was unable to respond due to Aspen’s vines having covered Canterlot. An attempt to reach her by messenger bird once again failed as well, due to it-and presumably its predecessors-being intercepted by Well-to-Do’s right-hand Pony, Jargon. Aspen noted that, due to Well-to-Do poisoning the land he had developed, it could not be reclaimed for the forest. As such, he felt he had no choice but to retain the territory his vines had covered.
To Aspen’s disgust, Twilight and her friends attempted to thwart Well-to-Do through a non-violent protest and a boycott, only to be quickly driven off. The king decided to aim his aggression at the Minotaur, seeking to teach him the consequences of destroying Everfree land even if it could not be reclaimed. He also insisted that Twilight and her friends leave and cease their involvement in the matter. Unfortunately, that night Bramble chose to investigate the construction site alone and was kidnapped by Well-to-Do, who saw him as a means of stopping Aspen’s further interference in his work.
Spike and Rainbow Dash observed this incident and informed Aspen, who had discovered his son’s absence. Aspen was furious, but before he could charge off to confront Well-to-Do, the Minotaur arrived with Jargon and Bramble. Well-to-Do agreed to surrender Bramble on two conditions: that Aspen order his subjects off the construction site, and that Aspen become the mascot for Fun Fun Land. Aspen questioned why he should even consider doing so, only to find out that Bramble had been forced to sign a contract to become mascot.
Rather than leave his son in Well-to-Do’s clutches, Aspen signed a contract of his own. With Bramble safely in the care of the Mane Six, Aspen allowed himself to be led away by the Minotaur. However, Blackthorn-leader of the Thicket Royal Guard-promptly took Aspen’s place as leader. Not being bound by the contract his king had signed, Blackthorn and the ponies quickly began to prepare for an assault on the construction site.
Forced to wear a mascot costume and inform visitors that the park was not yet open, Aspen was soon visited by his friends with the news. Unfortunately, it was overheard by Jargon, and Well-to-Do was thus forewarned of the assault. With a bridled Aspen and a fleet of bulldozers, he met the force of Forest inhabitants and demanded that they leave peacefully. However, as a bewildered Well-to-Do and an astonished, then pleased, Aspen looked on, the invaders went after the park’s barrels of organic smoothie mix.
Bramble had discovered that the mixture had the ability to revitalize the soil ravaged by Well-to-Do and his workforce. New plant life soon grew and destroyed the park, freeing Aspen from his contract. As Blackthorn surrendered his leadership role and the king’s medallion back to him, Well-to-Do angrily vowed that he would not let even this stop him. Aspen admitted that halting the Minotaur might be beyond his power; however, the same could not be said for the Hydra that pounced on Well-to-Do at that moment.
With the forest restored and his enemies dealt with, Aspen thanked his new friends for their help. He also promised to personally withdraw his vines from Canterlot and Ponyville. Aspen was pleased when Celestia arrived in the midst of the cleanup of Ponyville, and waved aside her apologies for being unaware of the situation. However, he shared her dismay when Pinkie Pie unveiled her design for a stained glass window to commemorate the victory.
King Aspen subsequently attended the Convocation of the Creatures, showing some distrust of the Changeling delegation. He did bow respectfully to Celestia, and later encountered her again while in formal dress along with a doe. He later attended a cotillion in Canterlot, where he was seen standing with Chief Thunderhooves. When Tempest Shadow visited Thicket, Aspen was mistrustful of her, apparently knowing of her service to the Storm King. On one Hearth's Warming, he was seen pulling a sleigh full of gifts.
- "The Revenge of the Everfree"
- "Flower Power"
- "For the Pony Who Has Everything"
- Convocation of the Creatures - Part One
- "Tempest's Tale"
- Friendship is Magic #75
- Friendship is Magic #77
- Friends Forever #38
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